Mars Science Laboratory lands today

Since launching on November 26, 2011, the newest Mars rover Curiosity has been speeding towards the red planet. Its days in the harsh vacuum of space are numbered as Curiosity prepares to land in just a few hours.

The landing of Curiosity at Gale crater is scheduled to be received on Earth at Aug 5, 10:31 pm PDT / Aug 6, 1:31 am EDT / Aug 6, 5:31 am UTC. The latest updates on the success or failure of ramming into the Martian atmosphere should be available on NASA TV and this feed from JPL. There’s a huge bunch of feeds on spaceindustrynews.com, and of course the Twitter for the wonderfully anthropomorphized Curiosity.

If landing a Volkswagen-sized, nuclear powered robot on the surface of Mars isn’t cool enough, we’ll also see a picture of the descent from Martian orbit via the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The Atlantic has a bunch of awesome pictures showing off Curiosity’s preparation for launch. Of course there are videos after the break including one by [Stan Love] explaining why it’s soooooo hard to get to Mars.

NOTE: When data is returned from the landing, Curiosity will have been on the surface of Mars for nearly 7 minutes. While this post was carefully worded to avoid confusion due to the speed of light, I figure this is a good a place as any to post a PDF link for the Relativistic Verb section of the Hackaday style guide.

Comments

  1. txwikinger says:

    Reblogged this on txwikinger's blog.

    MOD EDIT: If you ever see spam like this, just hit the ‘report comment’ button. Don’t reply to the spam, or you’ll mess up the threading when I remove it.

    Yes, we’re working on an update to this horrible commenting system.

  2. Haku says:

    For those of us living in the ‘first’ timezone, GMT, that’s 6:31am Monday (with Daylight Savings Time compensation).

    • Isaac says:

      “Daylight Savings Time compensation”

      Okay so I’m confused. Is it GMT or not?

      • Haku says:

        I’m in the UK, so living in the GMT timezone but as it’s summer I added an hour to make it DST time.

        I get fed up seeing PDT & EDT times quoted almost everywhere whilst GMT/DST is ignored.

      • Eddie says:

        PDT & EDT are more important than GMT – SORRY, make that UTC.

        When the UK gets a space program going, get back to us.

      • NsN says:

        @eddie
        You mean ESA?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESA

        In my opinion providing times in UTC is just common courtesy. Especially on the internet, since it is the basic standard for all computers.

        I can easily remember how to convert from UTC to my current time zone, but I’m not going to remember every conversion from EDT, PDT, MST, MDT, ECT,…. to UTC.

    • NsN says:

      For anyone trying to figure out their local time:

      http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=Aug+6%2C+5%3A31+am+UTC

    • Haku says:

      Oh and if you haven’t watched it yet, try and track down BBC’s recent Horizon episode, S51E02, an hour long documentary about the whole mission with the BBC getting access to the people involved with the project at NASA.

    • TheGapBetweenTheGaps says:

      You can think of UTC being GMT. But right now the UK is working on BST (Since it’s suppose to be summer time) So yeah, you wanna be at your screens for 6:30am at least on Monday 6th August 2012.

      Cheers!

    • n0lkk says:

      I will always wonder why when the prime meridian was established they did not make it the date line as well. People still could have used sun dials to adjust their mechanical time keepers for their local time and remain in tune with the rest of the world. Nothing wrong with the folks at NASA being generous enough to state time both as USA time zone and UTC. That way folks in the USA can simply count in the proper direction from the US time zone to get their local time, with the remainder of the world making their adjustment to the UTC figure.

    • n0lkk says:

      unless one lives in the time zone that shares the UTC time I’m pretty sure there is no AM/PM :). Where the time is favorable for me I may be able to watch the events live via the web, and if I don’t I not going to worry about it. Not like will will get to see a live video of an Earthling’s boot touch the surface of another planet for the first time.

  3. T_LabX says:

    my alarm clock is already set for tomorrow morning, i just can’t miss that, definitely not.

  4. phil says:

    volkswagon? really?

  5. sbrk says:

    “descent”, not “decent”

  6. adcurtin says:

    “Aug 5, 10:31 pm PDT / Aug 6, 1:31 am EDT / Aug 6, 5:31 am UTC.”

    Thank you! It took much longer than it should’ve to find this information elsewhere. Most places just listed a time, but didn’t say what timezone. I finally went to the source and got the correct time with a PDT timezone and had to convert it, but this is much easier.

  7. xorpunk says:

    Life changing research is going on.. lets talk about spam.

    I guess it doesn’t matter, NASA keeps most info on construction of this stuff top-secret, even though you can probably buy it off a russian for some millions..

  8. Aaron says:

    If it were people, I’d stay up and watch. Yet another robot, however nifty, just doesn’t have the same effect.

    • Roger Wilco says:

      Well people are not going to mars anytime soon so its robots or nothing. One question if you had the chance would you got to mars? at nime months one way i wouldnt want to go to a desolate place once they build a colony i would but not now.

    • kb says:

      Keep in mind that not only is this a really different and amazing robot, but it is also the last chance you’re going to have to watch a Mars landing of anything substantial for a very long time. Budgets are dwindling, follow on projects are not forthcoming. This is a little bit like a last hurrah for JPL/NASA.

  9. left says:

    is it true that to test the effects of long diatance flight they put a live cat on this spacecraft?

  10. Cyril says:

    YAY!!

  11. Johnny O. Farnen says:

    It is on the ground and they even got a few pictures back before the com window closed. Still in disbelief their overly elaborate landing system actually worked.

    • notmyfault2000 says:

      Indeed. I would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to everyone who helped work on this project and their wonderful success.

      Maybe it can go dust off Spirit and push it out of it’s dirt? Would make for a nice revisit of http://www.xkcd.com/695/ where it gets a friend (still brings a tear to my eye).

    • TheGapBetweenTheGaps says:

      I just think it’s funny that the JPL feed is a lot closer to real time than the NASA one! Congrats to everyone that took part!

  12. TheGapBetweenTheGaps says:

    BTW you can pick up the pictures as they come in from http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/

  13. Grovenstien says:

    It Landed! I thought it was gunna smash right into the planet! Oh me of little faith.

  14. mur1010 says:

    OMFGG I woke up late and lost it >.>”

  15. Big-J says:

    Liking the NASA-TV coverage, I just really wish someone there could sort out the compressor on the audio…

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